Many projects had found mention in last year's budget too.

The annual budget of the district panchayat might have given sizeable allotments to agriculture, public service, and social welfare schemes, but it distinctly lacked one aspect — novelty.

Most of the projects under agriculture, education, health and social welfare sectors were the continuation of schemes announced in last year's budget. In agriculture, the upgrade of Vithura Jersey farm, a proposal made in last year's budget, is to receive the highest allocation (Rs.20 crore). Group-based vegetable farming and many other programmes announced in the agriculture and animal husbandry sector are being carried over from last year's budget. A major share of schemes announced under the education sector such as ‘Vidyaprasadam,' ‘Unarvu,' communicative English coaching, napkin-vending machines in schools, and farming in schools are also repetitions.

In the health sector, the highest allocation has been made for modernisation of district hospitals in Neyyattinkara and Varkala, which was also announced in last year's budget.

Lake conservation

Conservation of Vellayani Lake, installation of biogas plants in grama panchayats for solid waste management, modernisation of district hospitals in Neyyattinkara and Varkala, funds for Centrally sponsored schemes such as Indira Awas Yojana, too had figured in 2011-2012 budget. District panchayat president Ramani P. Nair said that the civic body could implement 90 per cent of projects announced in last year's budget. “Although there are many continuing projects in this budget, we could meet the target of most of the projects announced in the last budget,” she said.

A complaint

Prior to the presentation of the budget on Saturday, district panchayat member M.S. Raju raised an objection that implementing officers of various government departments were not present for the budget presentation.

He requested Ms. Nair to take action against absenting officials including the principal agriculture officer. She promised that action would be taken against the officials who failed to make it to the budget presentation.